The New Zealand Dollar had a disappointing session in Asia on Monday but then regained all its losses against the USD, even if it remained lower against all the other major currencies we follow closely here. NZD/USD fell from 0.7355 to a low at lunchtime in Europe of 0.7335 but by the time European traders headed home, it had bounced back to 0.7365. Overnight the pair has lost around a quarter of a cent and as trading begins in Europe, the Kiwi Dollar is in bottom spot on our one-day performance table.
In economic data, New Zealand’s performance of services index rose 3.5 to 58.8 in March, signaling the fastest pace of expansion since January 2017. The analysts at BNZ who compile the survey noted that, “Sales activity drove the strength, with this sub index rising to 64.1 – near its highest level since the survey started 11 years ago… At least some of the March strength is likely a bounce back from a soft February. We have seen a similar pattern of a softer February followed by a strong March in other indicators like electronic card transactions. At this point, a stronger PSI is pleasing to see, especially in the context of the slowing we saw in last week’s Performance of Manufacturing Index. Combined, these indicators suggest reasonable GDP growth has continued into 2018.”
In other news today, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) said t that the median house price for New Zealand rose 1.8% in March 2018 to reach a new record high of $560,000 up from $550,000 in March 2017. Prices in Auckland fell 2.2% year-on-year to $880,000 but this was compared to March 2017 which saw the region experience the record price of $900,000. The REINZ said, “March was a very strong month from a price perspective with record prices achieved for New Zealand, New Zealand excluding Auckland, Gisborne, the Hawke’s Bay and Wellington. Looking at the whole country, median house prices increased in 13 out of 16 regions.” The number of properties sold in March across the country fell by 9.9% when compared to the same time last year with 7,768 properties sold in comparison to 8,622 in March 2017 which was the highest month for sales volume in 2017. The Kiwi Dollar opens in London this morning at USD.7345, with GBP/NZD around 1.9540.